Another community Covid-19 case has been announced this evening by the Ministry of Health.
A person linked to Auckland's February cluster - who is already in quarantine - has tested positive.
"This person is being referred to as Case O and is a household contact of Cases I, J, K and L," the ministry said in a statement.
"Case O was transferred to the Auckland quarantine facility on February 23 as a precautionary measure.
"The person became symptomatic yesterday and returned a positive Covid-19 test this afternoon. This means that Case O has been in quarantine for their infectious period.
"As a result of the early precautionary measures carried out to contain potential Covid-19 spread from this household there are no new locations of interest and no risk to members of the public.
"Whole genome sequencing will be carried out to confirm a link between Case O and the other cases in the cluster."
The ministry also updated information about Case N, saying preliminary whole genome sequencing results confirmed the case was similar to that of Case M and was linked to the current outbreak.
The case of Covid-19 - a student who went to a gym while he was symptomatic - has the UK variant of the virus, Covid Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today, as he defended the Government's decision to return to lockdown in Auckland.
Aucklanders are back in level 3 restrictions for a full week and the rest of New Zealand is at level 2 after the 21-year-old student visited public locations before testing positive.
The new case - "Case M" - attends the Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT) and is the older brother of a Papatoetoe High School student. The man, who was a casual contractor at Kerry Logistics (Oceania) Limited, went to MIT for three days and to the gym twice - including once after taking a Covid test - when he should have been isolating at home.
Hipkins told TVNZ today that the genomic sequencing suggested a link with the South Auckland cluster. He confirmed that the student had the more contagious UK variant of Covid-19 but officials did not yet know how he caught the virus.
Officials also did not know if other people had been infected. Hipkins is calling on anyone who has Covid symptoms to "go get a test now".
Hipkins denied that Auckland came out of its earlier three-day lockdown too soon. At the time, he said, the cases were looking contained.
He said he learned about the new case early on Saturday afternoon. Officials worked on the case details and movements through the afternoon, before a Cabinet meeting last night and a hastily arranged press conference at 9pm at which Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and director general of health Ashley Bloomfield announced the alert-level changes.
Major events have been disrupted. Sunday morning's Round the Bays run in Auckland was called off while the Black Caps' and White Ferns' T20 cricket double-header, scheduled for Eden Park on Friday, has been moved to Wellington where the games will be played without crowds. The racing schedule for the America's Cup - which was due to start on the Hauraki Gulf on Saturday - is being reviewed.
Police have today again set up roadblocks at the Auckland region borders. "The checkpoints on the outskirts of Auckland will be stopping vehicles and questioning drivers, ensuring there is no non-essential movement through the region," a police statement said. "Anyone attempting to travel across the regional boundaries should expect to be stopped and asked for proof of essential travel."
'Case M' - locations of interest
Instead of following health advice, Case M had been out in the community while infectious. This included attending the Manukau Institute of Technology for three days - February 22, 25 and 26.
All MIT students were emailed on Saturday evening - they need to stay at home under the rules of level 3 and those considered close contacts will be followed up by health officials. MIT is getting a deep clean today.
Case M is the older brother of a student from Papatoetoe High School who had returned three negative tests and was asymptomatic. It was announced last night that Case M's mother had also tested positive.
Case M visited:
• City Fitness, Hunter Plaza, Papatoetoe (February 26, from 3.20pm to 4.40pm, and February 20, from 12.20pm to 1.45pm)
• Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT) (February 22 from 1pm-6.30pm, February 24 from 12pm-7.30pm and February 25 from 11am - 7pm)
• Hunter Plaza (February 26, from 2.55pm to 5pm)
• Burger King Highland Park (February 25, from 8pm-9pm)
• Your Health Pharmacy (February 23, from 2.45pm to 3.50pm)
• Pak n Save Manukau (February 21 from 5.30pm to 6.40pm)
The Ministry of Health is advising people who were at the gym at the days and times above to: "Please stay at home, get tested as soon as possible and call Healthline on 0800 3585453. Remain at home until you receive a negative test result. Self-monitor for Covid-19 symptoms for 14 days from your exposure. If symptoms develop after your first negative result, get another test immediately and stay at home until a negative test result is received."
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People at the other locations are being told to self-monitor for Covid-19 symptoms for 14 days. "If symptoms develop, get tested and stay at home until a negative test result is received."
PM left 'frustrated'
Ardern said there was "no doubt" that a contributing factor to the lockdown was that rules were not being followed.
The new community case should have been in isolation, she said. But after going to the GP to get a Covid-19 test, he ignored health advice and went to the gym.
He had also been to a number of other locations when he was symptomatic. "Of course it's frustrating," Ardern said.
She was leaving no room for interpretation when it came to how clear officials made this to the new community case. "I've seen the records of the multiple communications that went to members of the school community, advising them of what was required of students and household contacts."
Hipkins said today it was "disappointing" that the Covid-19 positive person didn't follow health advice. But he said he did not want a "pile [on]" as that would discourage other people to get tested.
He said officials were now checking records to see when the family was contacted.
Hipkins called on all New Zealanders to follow the rules. As soon as vaccines were available, they would be rolled out to people who were "more at risk".
On TVNZ's Q&A, National Party leader Judith Collins called on South Auckland to be prioritised when it came to the vaccine rollout. "We need to be realistic here. South Auckland needs this."
Hipkins said South Auckland, where Auckland Airport is located, was a setting that was more "at risk".
Ardern sounded a warning to any would-be rule breakers. "We do have the ability to take enforcement action."
The action comes in the form of section 70 of the health order, which means a medical officer of health can oblige people to isolate.
But it was clear Ardern did not favour this heavy-handed approach. "I don't want to create an environment where an individual who has made mistakes here, is so pilloried, that no one wants to be tested."
She urged everyone to "please follow the rules on behalf of everyone".
Collins wants the Government to throw the book at people who ignored the rules.
"We need to consider tougher penalties against those who are not following public health advice around isolation and testing," she said.
She added that all New Zealanders would be frustrated at the level of non-compliance of the person at the centre of the new developments.
"Relying on people to do the right thing looks to have reached its limits and we may need tougher penalties to make sure everyone follows the rules.
"No one wants to be yo-yoing in and out lockdown."
University of Otago epidemiologist Michael Baker told TVNZ today there was a huge responsibility on New Zealanders - especially Aucklanders - to get tested if symptoms appeared.
Level 3 for Auckland, level 2 for the rest of NZ
Ardern said the Government had no choice but to put Auckland back into lockdown after the new case was detected in the community.
"This will take some time," she said, but at this stage, it was likely Auckland would stay at level 3 for the whole seven days. For the rest of the county, the level 2 settings will be reviewed throughout the week.
"I understand people's disappointment," Hipkins told TVNZ today. But he added that the Oxford index showed that New Zealand had been one of the freest countries in the world.
Ardern said Cabinet considered a number of factors when looking at the new case and deciding if another lockdown was needed.
The exposure the new cases had with others worried Ardern the most.
"Because they have been infectious for as long as a week and had not been in isolation, there are a number of high-risk places involved in this case."
Given the time that has passed since the onset of their illness, Ardern said close contacts might already be infected.
The lockdown, Ardern said, would help prevent a large-scale spread.
It was Cabinet's "unfortunate, but necessary position of needing to protect Aucklanders once again".
Ardern said the seven-day lockdown was needed as it was the same amount of time the new case was infectious in the community.
"The main thing we are asking people in Auckland to do is to stay at home."
This would reduce the risk of the virus spreading, she said. When they can, people should work from home and children should stay home from school.
But, as was the case in previous lockdowns, supermarkets and pharmacies will remain open during level 3. "Please, again, there is no need to rush to your supermarket."
Bloomfield last night also revealed that after testing the rest of the new community case's household contacts, the case's mother had tested positive for Covid-19.
When speaking to media last night, Ardern said some people might ask if Auckland should have remained at level 3 and not come out of lockdown.
But she said this was not the advice that the Government was given.
She pointed out that there had been 118,000 tests since February 14, when the first case of the new cluster was revealed.
'Oh no, here we go again'
National Party leader Judith Collins told TVNZ's Q&A today that her reaction to hearing about the case was "oh no, here we go again".
She said that now New Zealand had a "very real problem" when it came to contact tracing.
She said it "may have been" the wrong call to take Auckland out of lockdown while there was still Covid-19 in the community - "We thought that was a brave call."
She said yo-yoing out of lockdown was bad news for Auckland. On compliance with the rules, she said more needed to be done.
When people were in isolation, if they don't respond to the Government's messages within 24 hours, the police should be sent around to make sure they were complying, Collins said.
She said New Zealanders wanted to play their part, but they wanted to ensure others were as well.
Collins said if people are stuck in a queue for hours, they won't want to get tested and more testing stations are needed in Papatoetoe.
How Kiwis reacted to the news
Boos greeted the alert level announcement at the Joseph Parker v Junior Fa fight at Spark Arena in Auckland - but cheers erupted when the crowd was told the boxing was allowed to continue.
The announcer told the crowd the news, but then said: "But hey! We're gonna have these fights!"
Support for business
Finance Minister Grant Robertson said that since the lockdown was scheduled to be for seven days, business support now kicked in.
This timeframe triggers the wage subsidy scheme and this applies nationwide. This would be paid in a lump sump, he said.
He said businesses could receive both the wage subsidy scheme and the new alert level 2 subsidy scheme.
He said the Ministry of Social Development had been providing support to the Papatoetoe area.
He is asking anyone in the area who needs to, to get in contact with MSD.
He said there were some families where a disruption like this would cause them "significant concern".
The Government has budgeted $400-$500 million for the coming seven days.
On the costs, he said: "We have this buffer available".
Robertson said the worst thing for the county and the economy right now would be a massive Covid-19 outbreak.
Based on previous lockdowns, Auckland level 3 and the rest of NZ at level 2 cost the economy about $440 million a week, according to ASB.
Auckland mayor's message to Auckland
Auckland mayor Phil Goff said he understood Aucklanders' frustration at having to return to level 3 lockdown, including the impact it would have on businesses.
"However, the consequences of letting the virus spread would be far more disruptive and would put people's lives at risk.
"No one wants to be in lockdown, but it is the most effective means by which to stop a potential new outbreak, especially given the increased transmissibility of the new variant of the disease," he said.
"We are in a much better place than almost any other country in the world because of our strong collective response so far, so we need to keep it up.
"Aucklanders are old hands at this now. We know what to do to beat the virus and we will get on and do it."
Case L - KFC
Health officials' focus also remains on KFC in the Auckland suburb of Botany. A family member of one of the Papatoetoe High School students who tested positive had been told to stay home and isolate, but instead went to work at the fast-food restaurant on Monday.
The store was closed for deep cleaning on Friday after the staff member - known as case L - tested positive.
The person worked at KFC Botany Downs between 3.30pm on Monday, February 22 and 12.30am on Tuesday, February 23.
Members of the public who entered the store between those times are close contacts and should isolate at home for the remainder of the 14-day period, until March 8.
They should be tested on day 5 and day 12.
Members of the public who went through the KFC drive through between 3.30pm on Monday, February 22 and 12.30am on Tuesday, February 23 are casual plus contacts and should isolate at home until a negative day 5 test result is returned.
On Friday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she was, "like everyone, frustrated" about the person who went to work at KFC.
"We want people to do the right thing because that's what keeps everyone safe."
Despite this, she is warning against a "mass pile [on]" of the person in question, as that might create an environment where people are too afraid to get tested.
She is asking for everyone who may have come into contact with the new case to "do the right thing" and isolate.
And if they don't, she is sounding a warning: "There is a section 70 order".
That order means a medical officer of health can oblige people to isolate.
"We have some legal footing for that ... and so there are repercussions," Ardern said.
Earlier on Saturday, prior to the latest community case being revealed, there was only one Covid-19 case in managed isolation.